This week we’re kicking off a brand new series of monthly blog posts called Focus on the Creative. These posts will be formatted like a short and casual interview focusing on the topic of creativity and design in our daily work. To kick off the series I sat down with award winning sound effects editor Jessey Drake to talk about her design for a gigantic other-worldly laser weapon.
After buying our first home last year, my husband and I have been working hard at building our own home studio. In the past, every time we moved to a new apartment, we would always customize a home studio with our own DIY sound panels (see my blog post about that here). But since we plan to stay here forever, we have gone all out to make this studio space our own. And part of this customization has been soldering our own cables.
Today's blog post is a spotlight on audio tools. I'm using the word "tool" in a broad sense, to mean anything used in conjunction with a set of skills to accomplish work or goals. I've asked several Boom Box Post editors to tell me about their favorite tools used when working with audio. This could be a plug-in, a collection of sound effects, a microphone or even a technique they have learned or developed.
For my Lunch & Learn lesson I wanted to talk about something simple that everyone has most likely experienced in his or her daily life and during sound editing/designing. We’ve all heard it anytime we’ve walked down the street and heard an ambulance or police car passing by or maybe even an airplane. The point in time when you first hear the siren and the time when it has sped off into the distance sound different in pitch. I personnally get woken up everyday by hearing the Doppler effect of an airplane landing or taking off since I live 10 minutes away from an airport.
I've been in the industry long enough to notice some trends among successful sound editors. Those that stick around and do well for themselves, ensuring the longer term show placements, share a handful of characteristics. Here are some traits I've found have served all of us well here at Boom Box Post.
Sound effects editor Sunni Walker is a new addition to the Boom Box Post team. Sunni grew up in the bay area, graduated from LA Recording School, and funnels his passion for action and superhero films into his work on our shows.
One of the pillars of our creative learning environment here at Boom Box Post is our internship program. During the program our interns shadow editors, record foley props and participate in a series of lessons encompassing the different sound services Boom Box provides, such as dialogue editing, sound effects editing and mixing. For more information on our internship program click here. We collect applications year round and would love to hear from you.
As our current class of interns nears the end of their time here at Boom Box, we wanted to showcase their unique personalities and backgrounds. We hope you enjoy this brief look into our program and our fantastic interns: Madeline Kushner and James Singleton.
Here at Boom Box Post, we conduct monthly Lunch and Learn meetings where a rotating member of the team teaches a lesson to the rest of the studio. Whenever it is my turn to teach a Lunch and Learn lesson, I always try to rack my brain for a topic that I either don’t use on an everyday basis, or would personally like to learn more about. This month I chose Impulse Responses and Convolution Reverb.
I find this particular topic very interesting for a few reasons. First, it requires getting up out of that office chair! I’m always down for active and interactive audio experiences. Second, I love customizable audio options. It isn’t often that you find EXACTLY what you’re looking for, so the ability to create custom reverbs is always very useful. And lastly, it is a topic that I always knew about but have never personally done, so I figured diving right in was the best way to get a proper hands-on Convolution Reverb and Impulse Response experience.
We've been lucky enough here at Boom Box Post to be working on a lot of new series lately. And with new series, come main title sequences. The goal of any great main title is to stick in your head, typically achieved by a catchy, music-driven sequence. So where does that leave us sound designers? Sound effects can be infectious too! Here are some tips to help you succeed in getting sound effects into the next great main title sequence.
At Boom Box Post, we specialize in sound for animation. Although sonic sensibilities are moving toward a more realistic take, we still do a fair amount of work that harkens back to the classic cartoon sonic styles of shows like Tom and Jerry or Looney Tunes. Frequently, this style is one of the most difficult skills to teach new editors. It requires a good working knowledge of keywords to search in the library--since almost all cartoon sound effects are named with onomatopoeic names rather than real words like “boing”, “bork”, and “bewip”--an impeccable sense of timing, and a slight taste for the absurd.
I used to think that you were either funny or not. Either you inherently understood how to cut a sonic joke, or you just couldn’t do it. Period. But, recently, I began deconstructing my own process of sonic joke-telling, and teaching my formula to a few of our editors. I was absolutely floored by the results. It turns out, you can learn to be funny! It’s just a matter of understanding how to properly construct a joke.
The shocking conclusion of our 2 part vocal sound design challenge is here! In Part 1 we asked several BBP editors to perform a non-english vocalization, and tell us about the imagined creature that created it. For this post, we asked a few other BBP editors to process, twist and have fun with one of the clips in order to enhance the original vision. Not surprisingly, they favored the clips with a lot of low-end information, and especially enjoyed pitch-related processing. Check out the before and afters, plus each editors methods below!
When we hit the studio or the field to record sound effects, we want to leave with the best material possible. Not only do we want recordings that enhance our current project, we want additional material that we can use to build our libraries. We want to optimize our time to create the best possible ratio of useable recordings to useless takes. We want to take our material back into the studio, throw it into the DAW, hit play and say “Wow! That whoopee cushion sounds incredible!”